Harry and Kate King resisted the urge to plough land and plant potatoes. The result was thousands of orchids growing in several acres of Worcestershire countryside.
The Kings carefully handturn hay after cutting it on their land to ensure they protect the 10,000 orchids on a small grassland site, designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The pair are among 19 owners and occupiers of SSSIs in England, whose dedication and sheer hard graft has helped preserve some of England's most important wildlife sites, who will be given a green 'Oscar' today by English Nature.
Mr King said: "Thirty two years ago there was nothing here and we resisted the advice to plough it up and plant potatoes.
"On two acres, we have around 10,000 of four varieties of orchids and 132 other species as well. Plus, of course, I lose 10lbs in weight every time we do haymaking."
David and Christine Troth, from Worcestershire, will also be honoured at the awards ceremony in London.
Their willingness to try new things has made Salt Meadow SSSI one of the top two neutral grassland sites in Worcestershire. Although the Troths originally wanted to keep a small herd of cattle on the land and had nowhere else to graze them, they were open-minded enough to discuss alternatives that have allowed the SSSI to be returned to hay meadow management.
The awards, in their ninth year, will be presented at a celebration lunch at the Cabinet War Rooms. They were started as a means of recognising the inspirational efforts of owners and managers who invest in caring for SSSIs.
Other awards will go to the Ministry of Defence, which is using radio-controlled collars on an SSSI in Cumbria to monitor sheep grazing.
The exercise has produced vital information on the way sheep move around an area to help manage Helbeck Wood and Appleby Fells.
Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight said: "The conservation of England's Sites of Special Scientific Interest is incredibly important as these are significant wildlife sites and their condition reflects the health of the English countryside.
"The flourishing condition of these sites is in large part due to the efforts, dedication and enthusiasm of individual landowners and managers and we fully recognise that without their contribution, this year's target of having 67 per cent of SSSIs in recovering or favourable condition would not have been achieved.
"It is very encouraging to see the achievements of this year's SSSI Awards winners and I am delighted to see the involvement of so many local people. I would like to offer my congratulations to everybody involved."
Rob Williams, area team manager for English Nature's Herefordshire and Worcestershire team, said: "For another year, I am very proud to thank award-winning representatives of our owners and managers of nearly 200 SSSIs in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, for their tremendous contributions to wildlife conservation in our counties.
"It is recognisable that owners of SSSIs are increasingly proud of the heritage over which they hold stewardship and we are deeply grateful to them for their vision and commitment to the future."